by Jackie Kelley
Despite encountering a rather rainy and chilly day this past weekend, the Woburn community came together to support VNA Hospice Care by partaking in the fifteenth annual “Step out for Hospice” race on Sunday. The event was held at the Irish American Club in Woburn. The Development and Marketing Manager of VNA Hospice Care, Carol Keesecker, describes the organization that this event promotes.
“VNA Hospice Care is a non-profit organization that provides care, comfort and support to patients and families facing the challenges of life-limiting illness and loss. We provide comprehensive services that help support the patient and family at home, wherever they live, to live life to its fullest, with dignity and free of pain,” said Keesecker.
Plenty of people came out to show their appreciation of VNA Hospice Care’s goals this year. With 350 registered walkers, 150 registered runners, and 18 kids that participated in the Kids’ Fun Run, there was certainly a great amount of support. Thanks to the event’s participants, an impressive $60,000 was raised for the organization. These funds will benefit local patients and families.
“Many services that VNA Hospice Care provides including Bereavement support to families and children, free care to those uninsured, and medical treatments including chemotherapy and radiation are not covered under the hospice benefit and are not reimbursed. Funds raised at the "Step out for Hospice" help to fill this gap,” said Keesecker.
Many Woburn residents are passionate about giving to this cause and immensely enjoy participating in the “Step out for Hospice” race every year. Woburn Memorial High School senior Kelly Garrity expressed her connection to this particular event.
“My close family friend died 10 years ago and we’ve had a team named “Simply the Best” of forty to fifty people do it since then. It’s just something I think is very personal and close to my family and myself and is a good way for everyone to get involved and help out,” said Garrity.
Garrity isn’t the only one that takes pride in partaking in this event, however. Board Member of Woburn Friends of Hospice and Member of the Shamrock Running Club, Jamie Kelley, describes how she why she enjoys being involved in this event.
“This was my 5th year as Race Director and what I love most about this event is looking around the Irish American Club parking lot and seeing hundreds of Woburn Residents, of all ages coming together to help raise money for a great cause. Many are walking in memory of a family member, friend, or neighbor who have benefited from the love, care and services offered by VNA Hospice Care,” said Kelley.
It was truly inspiring to see the Woburn community brave the weather on Sunday and express their support of such a deserving cause. Congratulations to the VNA Hospice Care for hosting yet another successful “Step out for Hospice” event.